FIFA tells Saudis to stop pirated Women’s World Cup TV feeds

Screengrabs from BeoutQ’s coverage of England’s victory over Scotland at the Women’s World Cup last week show the logo of beIN Sports, which holds the exclusive rights, on the screen.

England beat Scotland 2-1 on Friday.   -  AFP

FIFA has told Saudi-backed satellite broadcaster Arabsat to stop transmitting pirated feeds of Women’s World Cup games from a Qatari network in an ongoing sports television rights dispute linked to the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

Bootlegged feeds from Doha-based beIN Sports of top soccer games have been broadcast by Saudi-based BeoutQ since 2017.

Now FIFA, which sells the exclusive rights to beIN, has called out Arabsat for distributing BeoutQ. Screengrabs from BeoutQ’s coverage of England’s victory over Scotland at the Women’s World Cup last week show the beIN logo on the screen.

FIFA told the Associated Press it is “seeking the cooperation of Arabsat in addressing the misuse of FIFA’s intellectual property.”

Arabsat was founded in 1976 by members of the Arab league and the Saudis hold the biggest stake with 36.7 percent. There was no immediate response to a request for comment.

Saudi authorities declared beIN illegal in the kingdom, a proxy battle in the nation’s wider economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar that was launched nearly two years ago.